Monday, December 17, 2012


Just when you think that our society has sunk as low as it can go, something else even more unimaginable happens, and we discover once again that there are NO limits to the sickness of our world.

26 innocent human beings were murdered in cold blood at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newton, Connecticut. Horrifically, 20 of these victims are little children, between the ages of 6- 7 years old. Innocent little babies who have done nothing wrong to deserve their lives being snuffed out so very young, in a school room where they are supposedly safe and protected. They are  are executed for no reason at all by a deranged individual who planned this massacre with deliberate precision and detail.


- Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female- 6 years old
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male- 7 years old
- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female-29 years old
 - Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female-6 years old
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female-7 years old
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female-6 years old
- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male-6 years old
- Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female-47 years old
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female-6 years old
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female-6 years old
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male-7 years old
- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male-6 years old
- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male-6 years old
- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female-7 years old
- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female- 52 years old
- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female-6 years old
- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male-6 years old
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male-6 years old
- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female-6 years old
- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female-6 years old
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female-6 years old
- Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female -31 years old
 - Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female-56 years old
- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female- 27 years old
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male-6 years old
- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female- 6 years old

                TEARS IN HEAVEN 

It is a parent's worst nightmare to lose a child of any age. Don't ever forget they we who have lost children are also victims as well as the surviving brothers, sisters, relatives of this nightmare that is all too real. 

There will never be closure for us and the pain will ache in our broken hearts forever. When the loss of our children happens by the unaccountable acts of others, we are even more traumatized, damaged, and destroyed. 

There is the inevitable response of a media circus, arguments about the politics of gun control, religions explaining away what has happened by talking about fantasy concepts of these new Angels in heaven, a time for healing, when in fact healing cannot ever come for those killed, nor their families, useless words to somehow try to make people feel better, and the quest for answers about how could this happen to defenseless little children, and their teachers.

The explanations, band aid solutions, all miss the point. Soon the forgetful memory of Americans will dissipate the tragedy of this and the true solutions never touched.

We are a nation obsessed with denial of "it can't happen to me, my children, my family" and so as usual nothing will change to prevent future massacres. 

The problem. You want to to know the problem? Begin with the hundreds of thousands people trapped in our culture with no humane solutions. It's not as simple as there being too easy access to buy guns, that by itself is not at the root of what is wrong.

As a Country we have consistently made it very clear that there is a huge disconnect between what is said and that which is actually done. Budget cuts in Federal/State governments have crippled an already impotent, dying under funded system of mental health agencies.

The new upcoming round of "balancing the deficit" spending cuts will be the next set of draconian "we can't afford' to help those in need death knell to the fragile, decaying framework of organizations that attempt to help the mentally ill.

All the phony hand wringing of what has happened in Connecticut to these children will be shot down by the reality that it costs a lot of  money to fix these problems. We always find this money to fight wars in foreign lands but never does it become available to spend it on saving our own vulnerable citizens.

But you say, we must provide an accessible system to address mental illness, just as we are striving for medical care for physical ills.  It's not going to happen, ever.

The stigma of mental illness is almost as strong as it was 30 years ago. Little has changed when it comes to the perception of people who suffer with emotional problems.

This in spite of the fact that mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 per cent of Americans ages 18 and older, about one in four persons, which translates well in excess of 60 million Americans, not even including those under the age of 18.

We are a Country that is full of shit when it talks about compassion, protecting little children, or helping to truly attack the problems that have consigned us to the lowest steps on the ladder of hell. 

It is tolerated that innocent people get murdered and now we have crossed over the line, it will be tolerated that precious little children are also murdered.

It is an ugly, ugly reality that only those who live with mental illness are left to fend for themselves because no one really cares about them or even wants to think about.

What is it like to live in fear that your child might hurt someone you, himself, or someone else?

Liza Long is afraid she has an inkling. In a powerful essay that's being shared across the Internet, this Boise, Idaho, courageous mom of four has the guts to talk about her life with a bright but disturbed teenage son.

BY Liza Long

Three days before 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year-old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

"I can wear these pants," he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises."They are navy blue," I told him. "Your school's dress code says black or khaki pants only.""They told me I could wear these," he insisted. "You're a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!"

"You can't wear whatever pants you want to," I said, my tone affable, reasonable. "And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You're grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school."

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7- and 9-year-old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn't have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don't know what's wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He's been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood-altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he's in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He's in a good mood most of the time. But when he's not, watch out. And it's impossible to predict what will set him off.

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district's most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can't function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30 to 1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, "Look, Mom, I'm really sorry. Can I have video games back today?"
No way," I told him. "You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly."His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. "Then I'm going to kill myself," he said. "I'm going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself."

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

"Where are you taking me?" he said, suddenly worried. "Where are we going?""You know where we are going," I replied."No! You can't do that to me! You're sending me to hell! You're sending me straight to hell!"

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. "Call the police," I said. "Hurry."

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn't escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I'm still stronger than he is, but I won't be for much longer.

The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—"Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…"

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You'll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying—that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, "I hate you. And I'm going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here."

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I've heard those promises for years. I don't believe them anymore.
On the intake form, under the question, "What are your expectations for treatment?" I wrote, "I need help."
And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza's mother. I am Dylan Klebold's and Eric Harris's mother. I am Jason Holmes's mother. I am Jared Loughner's mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho's mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it's easy to talk about guns. But it's time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son's social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. "If he's back in the system, they'll create a paper trail," he said. "That's the only way you're ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you've got charges."

I don't believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael's sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn't deal with the underlying pathology. 

But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill. Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation's largest treatment centers in 2011.

No one wants to send a 13-year-old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, "Something must be done."

I agree that something must be done. It's time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. 

That's the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.